World Bulletin / News Desk
An Indonesian court on Tuesday sentenced a university lecturer to a year and six months in prison for allegedly stirring up religious hatred through a doctored video of a government official.
In Bandung, the capital of the West Java province, Judge Saptono said Buni Yani had violated the law by inciting hatred based on ethnicity or religion and intentionally altering electronic information belonging to others.
In the video and transcript Buni Yani uploaded of an October 2016 speech, then-Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama refers to the Quran's Surah Al Maidah 51, in remarks many in Indonesia -- the world's most populous Muslim nation -- took to be blasphemous.
But Buni Yani’s version shortened Punama’s 90-minute speech to just 30 seconds, and the governor’s supporters reported Buni Yani to police for what they saw as an effort to provoke a reaction.
The footage went viral and led to Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and Christian politician, being tried and convicted of blasphemy, though he said he had been misinterpreted.
Hearing the judge's decision, Buni Yani rose from his chair and shouted "Allahu Akbar!", and was greeted by his supporters, who demanded his release.
He said he would appeal the verdict.
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